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Upperstall Review

Synopsis


Payanam

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Tamil, Action, Drama, 2011, Color



Cast And Crew



The film revolves around a hijack that happens on a Chennai - Delhi flight when it is forced to land at the Tirupati airport. The Pakistani hijackers demand the release of terrorist Yusuf Khan and hundred crores. The government starts negotiating with them through Home Secretary Vishwanath (Prakash Raj) and others. Things don't go as smoothly as planned and National Security Guard (NSG) commando Major Raveendran (Nagarjuna) swings into action to solve the problem.



After films like Mozhi (2007) and Abhiyum Naanum (2008) that were soaked in gentle emotions and sentiment, it came as quite a surprise when Director Radha Mohan chose to take up a thriller as his latest film. However, for an action thriller, the film is a little on the tame side with the edge-of-the-seat nail-biting scenes few and far in between lacked the suspense and twists. Still, Radha Mohan does score with the emotion and humour elements in the film.

The film is slow to take off with shots of Chennai airport and introductions of various passengers of the Starjet Flight and it retains this leisurly pace right through its running time. Still, scenes like that of the Pakistani girl who has received treatment in Chennai and who, through her charm even impresses one of the terrorists are moments to remember in the film. The tidbits of life stories and the characterization of diverse passengers are interesting enough and well worked out.

In fact, the film manages to successfully lace a serious situation with enough humour. Prithviraj as the star Chandrakanth gives the director a chance to take potshots at the incredible feats of onscreen heroes. Manobala as the numerologist comes up with some good wisecracks while Mohan Ram, Brahmanandam, and Chams add their bit of spunk and wit to the proceedings and play their roles well. MS Baskar as Father Alphonse is impressive especially when he walks up to the terrorists and asks them to kill him next. And it has be said the supporting cast of various passengers played their parts nicely.

Nagarjuna does not really get the opportunity to show his mettle as an action hero though he looks fit and dashing. For the most part, he is seen spouting dialogues far away from the aircraft - had he somehow managed to penetrate it, things could have been more exciting. In fact, The action sequences are few and even in the climax, his moment of glory in overpowering the terrorists is shared by Rishi and Thalaivasal Vijay. Rishi has performed his role well and when he springs into action as a doctor on board, he excels especially when he treats one of the terrorists, which he considered humanitarian. Sana Khan looks jaded and is overall bland in her role. Parmeet Kaur as air hostess has different shades to her character - warmth, professionalism, fear, bravery - all of which she expresses well. Prakash Raj, of course, is always an exemplary actor and delivers.

The camerawork by KV Guhan excels in showing the beautiful locales of Ladakh and sweeping airport scenes and manages to create variety in the compositions even within the aircraft. The framings could have been a tad more dramatic though. The editing pace of the film is slow and while thankfully, there are no songs in the film, the background score is fine but perhaps a little low-key.

All in all, the film works more when it focuses on the humour quotent and not so much in the action, suspense and thriller departments. An average watch.


Upperstall review by: DayaKingston


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